The Cok and the Jasp?

When I read the tale of the Cok and the Jasp, I could not help but be reminded of the actions of brave Sir Gawain when he accepted the challenge of the Green Knight. Most of us Knights appreciated what Sir Gawain did that day. In truth, he may have saved the honor of the Round Table from permanent tarnish. It is harder for my brave knights, as dedicated as they are, to get around in Winter. Tales of our deeds were running thin, because indeed, our deeds were too far and few between. Aye, we were losing our reputation as the greatest knights of all history and time. The Green Knight must have known this as he descended upon our hearth, truly ruining our civil Christmas celebration.

When the Green Knight came, he challenged each and all the Knights to his game, and Gawain was the one to accept. Many of the Knights, and indeed the ladies of the court saw it as foolhardy to accept a seemingly childish game from this Knight, who was clearly enhanced by some sort of magic. To those Knights, I would guess that they would think of the Cok in this story as a fool as well, and the jasp of chivalry and honor would seem completely worthless to them. The story of the Cok and the Jasp tells us a lesson about value being in the hands of those that perceive it. These knights have no honor, and thus could not see any value in accepting the Christmas Gomen. The truth of it is that Gawain saw something of value in that jasp when the Green Knight set it upon our round table. The other knights, like coks, could not see the true value of that gem.


5 thoughts on “The Cok and the Jasp?

  1. King Arthur, I say this with the utmost respect for you, I take offense with you interpretation of what I consider to be a fine Christmas feast. I will concede that my actions that day were not exactly customary, but I wholeheartedly disagree with your assertion that I ruined your feast. Why, what could be a better gift for a knight than the opportunity to prove not only his bravery, but his loyalty to his court? I would argue that if anything, I made your Christmas quite a bit more exciting! And if all of your knights, aside from Sir Gawain, thought that the honor of defending the honor of the Round Table was nothing more than childish folly, then I, were I in your position, would seriously begin to question their fortitude.

    • I find I must agree with the good Knight of Green on this matter, good Arthur. I would relate the Knight of Green to that beast, Grendel, but of course, the Knight is not as savage as that despicable creature, but what I mean to say is that like the Knight, that beast did introduce some interest to life. Surely you, oh glorious king, can see that without a man such as the Knight of Green that your famed knights were doomed to grow complacent and, dare I say it, dishonor thy kingdom and thy wife?

      And, I must remind ye, good king, of the fact that alongside thy fellow knights, ye donned a girdle in honor of Sir Gawain’s confrontation with the knight. Should you not be thanking the Knight, then? For without him, Gawain never would have returned to thy court with such a tale! Nay, he never would have left! Much like I never would have met Hrothgar and become king of mine own land had Grendel never arrived!

  2. When I read the Cok and the Jasp I couldn’t help but be reminded of myself, the Rood. To some, I was just a tree at the edge of the forest. And then, I was an executioner’s tool to kill a man. But to the wiser observer, I was the only thing that was there for him. I stood by our Lord till the very end. I never gave up. I never fell. I held Him up as he made his way to heav’n. I, the Rood, am our Lord’s most cherished servant. Sure, I might be a couple sticks to the Cok. But, I, the Rood, am much more.

  3. I do detest all this talk of jasps and jewelry. There is no wisdom in shiny stones, or the dung you pull them from. Riches are of no service to a good Christian. Wisdom comes from knowing God and abiding by his rules. Wisdom is in salvation through me, his son, and according to Julian, your mother. Wisdom is in good deeds done for your fellow man. Instead of digging through dung, or risking yourself in challenges to find these gems, consider that a life led in service of God is a life that never ends. The key to the kingdom of Heaven is the most sincere and important of all wisdoms available to mankind. Sir Gawain, as a knight, should be able to recognize that. Instead of fawning over rocks or cutting each other’s heads off, focus on the pursuit of a place in God’s kingdom, where true value lies.

    Not diggin’ all this diggin’ for gold,

    • Mother Jesus, I have read Scripture for myself. I have even read the likes of Ptolemy. I have formed my own opinions of what makes a good Christian, and even a good Wif. And with that I still enjoy my riches. I enjoy my pursuit of riches. And does God himself even know of his rules? So many Old Testament figures did not, and they were closest to God. They did not abide by many of his rules, what say you to that?

      Does one ever truly know the key to the kingdom of heaven if there are many interpretations to be had? I am well travelled and well read, I must tell you, and I have faith in my own interpretations.

      A jasp would bring me much joy. Many of my husbands have given me such gifts. Extravagance in wardrobe is a liberty I take for myself. Jasps fit quite nicely along with it. Does this make not make me a good Christian? I wonder, did any of what Jacob, Solomon, or Abraham do not make them good Christians? Yet you, Mother Jesus, hold them dear to your heart?

      Do not tell me that something like a jasp is a sin. I will decide this for myself.

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